'A Real Sense of Family'

homecoming and family weekend

Four generations of Dickinsonians (left to right): Debbie Faccenda '84, Bill Rogers '58, Dottie Rogers '60, Elyse Faccenda '10 and Rob Faccenda '84.

Homecoming & Family Weekend joins families, alumni and friends to celebrate, reminisce and reconnect

by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson

Students, families and alumni celebrated all things Dickinson during a historic Homecoming &Family Weekend (HC&FW). The event drew close to 2,000 alumni, family members and friends of the college, all eager to celebrate a Dickinson milestone and to catch up with loved ones and friends.

“It’s a special weekend for us—we can’t wait to see our son,” said Karen Long P’17 Massachusetts, who arrived at the registration desk first thing Saturday morning, along with husband Paul.

The weekend's centerpiece event was Saturday's Inauguration ceremony in honor of college's 28th president, Nancy Roseman. Other popular events included the Homecoming game, which welcomed Professor Emeritus and former football star Ben James ’34 back to Biddle Field; the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, held in the soon-to-be-renovated Kline Center; an assortment of class and club reunions and celebrations; and Carlisle’s Harvest of the Arts Festival and Fall Fest.

Franklin Piccirillo and Riana Naide came from Ohio to attend the Inauguration ceremony and to catch performances by student a cappella groups and the Dickinson Jazz Ensemble with daughter Francesca ’14, while the highlight of the weekend arrived for New Jersey residents Liz and Jim Erikson when daughter Danielle ’14 performed a dance during the Homecoming-game halftime show.

For alumni like Trustee Emeritus Louise Hauer Greenberg ’54 of Pennsylvania, the weekend sparked fond memories of Homecoming games of the 1950s and '60s. “Back then, there was no Homecoming Weekend—we just celebrated on the day of the game—but there was always a parade down the main street,” she remembered, noting that student organizations would build floats for the occasion, and that she often marched with fellow cheerleaders in the procession.

Shared experiences like these forge lifelong relationships, noted Trustee Carol Jones Saunders ’62 of Virginia. She added that while she was honored and thrilled to take part in this year’s Inauguration ceremony, she also recognized the value and joy that every HC&FW brings.

 “I made some of the best friends of my life here and had the most inspired and inspiring professors,” Saunders explained. “There was a real sense of family. So it’s always wonderful to come back.”

Published October 4, 2013